THE PUNE division will submit new field crop yield assessment norms and changed parameters in a week’s time as per new government rules to declare the area as drought-affected or not. The division comprises Pune, Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur.
The revenue department, along with agricultural and Met officials, will be readying the report for each division and the collated information will be forwarded to the state government, revenue officials from the Pune divisional commissionerate said.
“Officials will have to re-assess the crop yield according to new parameters which would include checking the data of the last five years and not ten years as earlier, for giving the final assessment of crop yield,’’ said a revenue official. He added that though there are several areas which have received scanty rainfall in July and August, the parameters will have to be assessed vis-a-vis the crop yield.
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The revenue minister had recently announced that the government will declare an area as drought-hit if it receives less than 50 per cent of the average rainfall between June and July as against the earlier 75 per cent. Senior revenue officials from the Mantralaya said that they are working with Met officials to assess the same.
A sub-committee was formed for the recommendations which decided that drought can be declared in case of less than 50 per cent average rainfall between June and July and if the sown area is less than 50 per cent of the total cultivated area. Officials are calculating the area and the same will be done for all divisions in the state.
The report seeks to amend the Drought Manual, 2009, whereby the terminology ‘drought-like situation’ will be replaced by ‘drought’. The earlier norms formed during British regime relied on Nazar Aanewari (yield of crop at site). Post Independence, it was changed to paisewari but after devaluation of paisa, the yield assessment is conjectured by standing on the farm bund and arriving at the approximate crop yield estimate. This will be changed with the use of satellite images and modern equipments.
“Talks have already taken place with the Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre to determine the acreage estimation using satellite technology for a better assessment,’’ said the revenue official. Proposal to have division-wise automated weather stations for assessment of crop yields based on factors like rainfall, temperature, moisture and other related factors will prove to be important, he added.
Other parameters for declaring drought as outlined by the sub-committee includes a minimum of 0.4 units less than normal water stock in irrigation dams, difference in vegetation index, moisture adequacy index, fodder situation, water availability and appointment of village crop yield committee members who have to be experts in agriculture. “While determining crop yield, the last five year’s crop production is considered and the base value of the yield should be considered as 100 paise,’’ stated the official.
Meanwhile, this week’s rains have reduced the deficiency of rainfall in the state to 25 per cent from last week’s 34 per cent, with Konkan and Goa recording a deficiency of 30 per cent, Madhya Maharashtra 28 per cent, Marathwada 35 per cent and Vidarbha 8 per cent.